What’s the world’s dumbest invention? Don’t count anything that didn’t sell. A button that shocks anyone who pushes it is pretty dumb, but no one’s buying it.
What’s something that shows up in cities across the globe, despite being… well, awful?
I don’t know if this is the worst, but it has to be top ten:
The dreaded and pointless car alarm.
I quite like the premise of the car alarm. Someone trying to break in triggers an alarm, attracting attention. It makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense is why it doesn’t stop.
I don’t know how long it takes for a mediocre thief to steal a car. Using a Nicholas Cage movie as a guide, if pros can steal a car in 60 seconds, let’s say a bumbling crook takes three minutes.
So here’s what happens in the first few minutes of the alarm going off:
Either the thief is scared off, or they steal the car anyway. No matter which, the alarm becomes useless pretty quickly.
Even so, the alarm will keep going until whoever has the keys shuts it off.
Despite the car alarm being decades old, people still haven’t considered this scenario: someone bumps the car, sets off the alarm, but the owner isn’t within earshot.
Surely that happens all the time. And whenever it does, the entire neighbourhood has to put up with baring noises.
A teething baby, finally able to get some rest.
A shift worker sneaking in a nap.
Music aficionados enjoying a livestreamed concert.
A voiceover artist trying to make an honest buck.
None of these people can do what they need to, all because car alarms are really badly designed.
You might have noticed in that list above, I didn’t mention someone trying to meditate.
That’s because if you know what you’re doing, even the distracting woops and wails won’t keep you from your trance.
And if a car alarm doesn’t distract you, not much will.
I know because this happened to me recently.
It was early morning, around 6 am. I had slept terribly the night before. My mind was foggy and I couldn’t concentrate.
Then someone breathed a little too threateningly and a car started losing its mind.
Far from ideal. If meditation were a sport, you’d need to be a bronze medallist to handle that.
And yet handle it I did.
With a range of simple techniques. Any one of them could have done the job – together, there was no stopping me.
You can learn these techniques too. Once you do, you can relax and go deeply inside, no matter what is happening around you. All the proven benefits of meditation can be yours, even if you live in a rock concert.
These techniques, and how to learn them, are all here in this book: